Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ducks and Weddings

My stepson got married this weekend next to a duck pond in Look Park in Northampton, Massachussetts. The day was slightly overcast, but the setting and weather were otherwise perfect. Some time between the vows and the cutting of the cake, my wife gave a toast to our son and daughter-in-law. Basically she said she was proud of them for all they had overcome together and how hard they had worked to do what’s necessary to be a couple. It wasn’t so much what she said as it was the emotion in her voice. She had a hard time speaking without crying, but got through it anyway.

I had planned to say something, but after my wife got through I felt that she had expressed it so well that it would simply be wrong to say anything beyond what she had said. I too often forget that eloquence sometimes has more to do with timing, delivery, a sense of sincerity than it does with the precise choice of words. Looking back, it was one of those moments where I was simply proud to be married to my wife. Actually, they happen a lot but too often I don’t pay attention enough to acknowledge them properly. Of course, there are plenty of the other moments as well, especially when she hops in the car for a long drive and announces ten minutes in that she really needs to go the bathroom, something which happened on our way to the airport from the wedding.

I should also mention that due to the fact that we spent all of the day before dealing with collateral issues from the East Coast airlines computer crash, I'd forgotten to charge the video camera. Pure dumb luck, the band shell just happened to have an AC outlet. Looking back, I was going to videotape the toasts, but my wife stopped me. I think she was that nervous about saying it just the way she wanted to say it.

There was a moment just before the completion of the vows when a pair of ducks flew in, landed on the surface of the pond, and began circling one another. I suppose I should google the mating patterns of ducks, but I prefer to simply leave that image in my mind as a sign from nature that the marriage is meant to work.

My stepson has not had an easy life as an adult mostly because of complications from a serious car accident just before he turned twenty. In the ten plus years since his life changed, he’s shown incredible courage and heart. Rather than turn inwards, he has insisted on trying to be involved in bettering his community and the world. In the meantime, he constantly tries impossible things. Sometimes, it doesn’t work, but sometimes it has. He managed to finish college on his own after the accident. He went off to the other coast on his own to make his own life. He’s become interested in and active in politics. Apparently he was one of five members of the Green Party in a rather large North Carolina town. He met a young woman who sees his best qualities and they have committed to a life together.

Part of that commitment was her realization that there was only one way for a young couple to get health benefits (something he has to have), earn a living, and have the opportunity to further her education. Seven months ago, she joined the army. I suspect that fact might surprise many people who’ve read some of what I’ve said about the war.
In fact, over that time my son and his wife have only seen one another about three times. She flew to Massachussetts on a Friday, had the wedding on a Sunday, then flew back to her specialist training less than twenty four hours after the wedding. Some honeymoon!

As a couple, my wife and I have slipped into another stage. One of our children has a family of his own. In the meantime, I hope we keep pushing one another to keep trying impossible things ourselves.



At 6/13/2007 12:55:00 PM, Blogger Tanya Espanya said...

Have I told you before I love what you write? This was so beautiful.

At 6/13/2007 02:11:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Many thanks Tanya....I'm looking forward to your posts about motherhood soon.

At 6/13/2007 03:06:00 PM, Blogger Tanya Espanya said... too!


At 6/13/2007 05:18:00 PM, Blogger benny06 said...

Congrats to your step-son and to your family. It must have been joyous to welcome another lady to your family.

Their honeymoon sounds a lot like what John and Elizabeth Edwards' was like. 24 hours, had to be separate again due their clerkships. Wonder if your son and his wife will celebrate their first anniversary at at a Wendy's. :-)

At 6/13/2007 05:59:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thanks Benny,
It was indeed a lovely wedding and we are proud of both our son and our new daughter in law.

To be honest, given the fact that she's in the army, we're just hoping that they're able to celebrate their anniversary together in person.

At 6/13/2007 07:04:00 PM, Blogger benny06 said...

CL, you just hit it home again. Good people separated by the military and wanting to do their best for us.

Thanks for sharing. Hope to see pics too.

At 6/14/2007 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I think the saddest aspect of the war is that most of those who are directly affected are good people with the best intentions.

At 6/17/2007 07:07:00 AM, Blogger Martin Heavisides said...

So that's the logic behind the U.S. medical system. It's a military recruiting ploy. Best of luck to your stepson and daughter in law.

At 6/17/2007 09:25:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thanks Martin,

the benefits remain one of the reasons a lot of people still join the military. There just aren't many jobs that offer them.

At 6/17/2007 07:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CL, you know the *impossible thing* on your docket in the coming year. Do use the antiinertia of this heartfelt inspiration with which you return home from the lovely event all tinct with courage and bright hope.

At 6/18/2007 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. Pogblog,
thanks for the reminder. I'm at it.

At 6/22/2007 12:44:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Congratulations on the new edition to your family. What a proud & joyous day for the whole family!

Does your new d-i-l have any idea where she'll go after her training?

I am holding all of you close to my heart.

At 6/23/2007 11:33:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thanks GSMSO....It looks like Korea for now, though it's not 100 percent. One of the questions is whether or not our son will be able to join her there. They've been tinkering with the "family" rules for personnel stationed in Korea.


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